Spring has arrived in Ankara: the patches of snow are melting, trees' leaves are bursting into vibrant shades of green, and MUNESCO came and went.
MUNESCO, or Model United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is a conference hosted at our school every year in March the weekend before spring break. While most schools have traditions like prom or homecoming, as an international school we have Model United Nations conferences. Almost everyone is involved in some part of the preparation; a select group of juniors make up the "organizing team" who run the conference, while other students act as delegates, chairs, administrative staff, press, or security.
For one glorious spring weekend, MUNESCO takes over Ankara as students from the Netherlands, Saudia Arabia, Cuba, Israel, Casablanca, and of course Turkey, participate in four days of debating. 2012 was the eighth year of MUNESCO, and the best session so far. The deputy of foreign affairs of Turkey gave an opening speech; news stations interviewed members of the organizing team; and an article about MUNESCO appeared in one of Turkey's leading newspapers.
This year, I was lucky enough to participate in MUNESCO 2012 as a chair. My responsibilities included directing debate within a committee; wearing ludicrously high heels; bringing an obnoxiously large Macbook; writing a four-thousand word chair report; and sending admin staff to Starbucks every five minutes.
Too soon, the conference passed and left the school full of broken placards and the faint smell of newspaper ink. Another spring, another MUNESCO had passed. It was my third MUNESCO conference, and having graduated the ranks of admin staff, delegate, and now chair, I felt like I was growing old.
The Turkish word for "spring" is "ilkbahar," which literally translates to "first season," and indeed I hope that this spring ushers in a fresh beginning. Sometimes, it is easy to forget the bigger picture outside of our tight little world of school and MUN, but knowing that our efforts today can help the world's leaders of tomorrow somehow makes it all the more worthwhile.